Friday, July 24, 2015

Savor Summer -- Summer Eating

Has your July been flying by, too? I can't believe it's already the 24th! But there's still another week to savor.



And even more summer to enjoy. I try to remind myself to take things one day at a time. I hope you do, too.

Now, how about some summer food?

There are few things that bring me more joy than eating out of the garden. Eventually I want to grow a large percentage of our food, but until we get a bit more growing space, I'm content with growing what we do (and trying to maximize our space as much as we can).

Even if you don't garden, you can enjoy the delights of summer-fresh produce. Farmers markets, CSAs and even grocery stores with a local focus can provide you with local, delicious fruits and vegetables.

One of the best things about garden-fresh food is how simple it is to eat and enjoy. You can use complicated recipes if you feel like it, but summer-ripe produce doesn't need it. Easy, quick, delicious.

My absolute favorite summertime food? Tomatoes (Last year I wrote about them here and here).

tomatoes, garden tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Our tomatoes are slow (again) this year and we haven't had more than a few cherry tomatoes. Yet. But soon... I think simplest is best with summertime tomatoes and sometimes I'll cut them up, sprinkle them with a little bit of salt and call it a salad. If you want something a little more involved, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and fresh mozzarella.

Want summer tomatoes during the winter? Roast them in the oven with a splash of olive oil, some salt and pepper. Put them in a low oven (between 200-300) and periodically check on them until they're done to your liking. It could take anywhere between an hour to a couple hours depending on how much liquid is in your tomatoes. I like to store the roasted tomatoes in the freezer. Use them in pasta sauce, as a pizza topping, in soup, in chili...

watercolor tomatoes, kitchen watercolor, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry, Savor Summer

An even easier way to preserve your tomato harvest is to freeze your cherry tomatoes. Simply place tomatoes on a baking sheet in the freezer and once they're frozen transfer them to freezer container or bag. Use them for cooking (as above). They're especially good in sauces (I used them in a sauce I made for shrimp tacos this past winter and they were delicious).

Matthias' favorite way to eat tomatoes is as fresh salsa. We have a small food processor that we like to use. We fill it with tomatoes (cherry tomatoes from the grocery store in the winter), leaving a bit of space for some onion, an jalapeno pepper (use more or less depending on the hotness of the pepper and how hot you want your salsa to be) and generous amounts of cilantro and then process until well blended but still a bit chunky. Stir in salt to taste.

cilantro, summer, garden, #ssjuly2015, harvest, savor summer, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

While we're talking about cilantro... fresh cilantro is delicious in salsa, but frozen works, too. This past winter we used frozen cilantro from the grocery store (it comes in a package with little cubes) and now that I have a glut of it in the garden, we've been freezing our own. Chop it up in the food processor, adding a bit of water to make a paste. Lots of people suggest freezing herb pastes in ice cube trays, but I spread my cilantro out in a thin layer and froze it as a sheet so I can simply break off pieces as I need them to whatever size I want. Perfect for one of my favorite soups (that blog post also has a great method for keeping fresh cilantro fresh in the fridge).

I shared a yummy recipe for garden salad in the summer edition of my newsletter that went out to subscribers yesterday. Not signed up yet? You can read more about my seasonal newsletter and subscribe here.

Looking for more food inspiration (perhaps with real recipes, measurements and all)? Here are some great resources for good eating:



strawberries, garden strawberries, harvesting, growing food, summer, #ssjuly2015, savor summer, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

What about you? How do you like to eat and cook in the summer? Are you a recipe follower? Do you have favorite sources of inspiration?

6 comments:

  1. Oh Anne! So many lovely links! I do appreciate the amount of time it takes to organize all of this and am very grateful that you take the time out to do so. Your tomatoes look wonderful in their varying shapes and sizes and they look almost edible in your watercolour paintings of them. I like the idea of making herb pastes in a flat sheet instead of ice cube trays - I must try! It is cold, wet and miserable here today but I am savoring summer in my heart. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Simone!

      Can't wait till this summer's tomatoes start producing like last summer's. Soon. At least the cherry tomatoes are going strong and all the plants look healthy.

      Have a lovely week!

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  2. So juicy, yummy, earthy and inspiring post! Beautiful summer!

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    1. Thanks, Aga!

      Beautiful summer to you!

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  3. Replies
    1. Carla,

      You are sweet! Thanks so much. Glad to have you dropping by my little corner of the Internet!

      :)

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